I don't have much of an update, and I didn't think to take any pictures yet, but rather than pay someone, I've finally caved and decided to mud the ceiling in the "L" Room myself. I did 3/4 of the scratch coat a week or so ago, and then ran out of mud. I bought more mud about a week ago, and I finished the scratch coat a few days ago. That brings us to today, where I did the first topcoat on the seams and corners.
It actually went really well, and I attribute that success to some new tools. I watched a few drywall videos on YouTube several weeks back, and they always make it look SO Fast and EASY. I mean, it's not HARD by any means, but there's a lot of technique involved.
What blew my mind though, was the corner trowel.
Some of the best DIY videos I've found (including the detailed ones I used as a reference to install the new vinyl siding on the garage) are from Shannon at House Improvements (one of his videos is below).
In this drywall video, you see him use the corner trowel at around the 3:10 mark.
I don't know how I went so long without even knowing that this tool existed. For YEARS now, I've been tediously doing my corners mostly (or partly) one side at a time, because a regular trowel always leaves an odd edge in the corner. I've also been doing most of all my drywall with only a 6" trowel (which isn't really wide enough for finishing coats).
So after having watched a few of his videos, I decided to invest in both a wider trowel, and a corner trowel. These range in prices, and I went with an inexpensive set at around 10$ each trowel.
Today was my first time using both, and wow! What a difference! The job went faster, the joints are smoother, and the corners and joints look wonderful!
I think I can probably get away with just another light pass, some light sanding, and then I'll be ready to paint! I've already had the wall paint bought for months now, and I still have leftover ceiling paint, so I have pretty much everything already on hand.